Nahar Alam has been an organizer in the United States and Bangladesh for almost 20 years. Nahar works towards a vision in which all workers are treated with respect and their rights are enforced. She has been organizing South Asian immigrant workers in New York City since 1993 through several grassroots Asian-Pacific Islander community organizations.
Nahar is an ex-domestic worker and a domestic violence
survivor. She works directly with workers and lawyers on Andolan’s cases,
and gives presentations and trainings to workers, law students and other
organizations serving the community. A key component of her work is community
outreach and coalition building. Nahar represented Andolan at the World
Conference Against Racism in Durban, South Africa in 2001. She also helped
develop the Streetwise Cultural Diversity Curriculum for the New York Police
Department in 2001.
Nahar has received the Susan B. Anthony Award from NOW (1996), an award from the Petra Foundation (1998), the Union Square Award from the Fund for the City of New York (2001), and the Sneha Award for work in fighting for the rights of Domestic Workers in the U.S. (2002). She was also a Revson Fellow at the Columbia University during the 2003-2004 academic year, where she focused on gender studies. Nahar was instrumental in founding Andolan in 1998 as a community group focusing on organizing low-wage South Asian women workers.
In this exclusive interview with VOA Bangla Service Nahar Alam talks about her work with the Bengali Diaspora.